6 Simple Steps To Style Your Sofa Table

Recently my mom purchased a stunning sofa table. She was so excited about the buy, but she was struggling to decorate it. Luckily she gave me a call and I had the privilege of helping her shop for the perfect decor to style her new sofa table. I must say it looks absolutely amazing which gave me the inspiration to write this blog!

Sofa tables are extremely fun to style and present such a wonderful opportunity to showcase your style and elevate your room. There is a little bit of a science to it, but it’s honestly quite simple to replicate once you know how to. That’s why I’m breaking it down into six simple steps that will help guide you through styling a sophisticated sofa table!


Step 1: Understand The Function

Large, wooden sofa table behind rust colored sofa in living room

First and foremost, you need to identify the primary function your sofa table will serve. Yes, it can have multiple functions and those should be listed in order of importance. For instance, do you want your sofa table to be for setting drinks down or for style, or maybe both? Are you adding a sofa table to help tie the room together? Depending on the function(s), how you style the room will change.

My mom really wanted something to help break up and disguise the rust-colored couch and have a place to set drinks or plates, while also doing something to help tie together the room. With this in mind, my design needed to center around filling space to break up the bold rust color, leaving empty space up top for drinks and plates, and pulling in colors from her space to help tie it all together. Your individual design needs will vary, but for this example, these are the goals I am looking to accomplish.

Step 2: Start By Breaking Your Table Into Sections

Wooden sofa table with black, white, tan & grey decorative accents

Knowing that I wanted to leave a little space in the middle, I chose to divide the sofa table into four quadrants. If you would like to have a more full look with layering in the middle, I suggest at least six sections but four sections are enough for today’s purpose. I think it’s fairly easy to see the four quadrants as upper left, lower left, upper right, and lower right. Once you establish your sections, you can begin to identify how to decorate each.

Although your overall design is connected, breaking each section down and identifying your plan for each can help you to not feel so overwhelmed. In quadrant 1 I knew I wanted a singular piece and in quadrant two I wanted a lot of layering. Quadrants 3 and four needed to be similar with a larger obstructive item but have some variation. At the end of the day, I knew each quadrant would need to have various textures that tied together with their color palette (which we will cover next).

Step 3: Identify Your Color Palette

Ceramic white vase with eucalyptus stems layered behind a sculpture ring & candle on top of a decorative book.

Speaking of color palette, this is the key to curating a well-designed sofa table. So how do you identify or create your color palette? It’s honestly fairly simple if you already have existing decor in your space. Look around and identify two to four key colors that repeat in your space. For my mom’s living room, I identified mostly black, grey, white, and beige tones.

Obviously, my mom loves a neutral color palette, but it’s perfectly okay to identify fun colors like blues, greens, pinks, or anything your heart desires. Typically, I like to exclude neutrals from your core color palette, but I do like to caution people to limit their wood tones to three or four and try to resist getting too crazy with a million different colors. You can always add visual intrigue with textures, patterns, and different hues of a particular color.

Step 4: Measure Twice… Or Three Times

Black lamp, neatly nuzzled in the corner of the sofa table

There is quite literally nothing that hurts worse than falling in love with a decoration that then doesn’t fit in your space. It is absolutely soul-crushing, so here is how to avoid it. Measure everything. Measure it once, twice, or even three times to make sure you’ve gotten all of the measurements you could need.

This will help you more than anything else in this process. I like to draw out a little diagram with the sizing beside it to help me while I shop. This way I can pull out my tape measurer or check the decoration’s dimensions to make sure it will fit perfectly in the space. To help you understand, here are some key measurements I took of my mom’s sofa table:

  • The full length of the top of the table
  • The full depth of the top of the table
  • The length on the bottom of the table from pole to pole
  • the height from the bottom level to the bottom of the tabletop
  • the depth of the bottom rack of the table

Step 5: Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Brainstorm

White and black, and white and beige pillows in wicker baskets on the bottom of the sofa table

Now that you have your quadrants, your color palette, and understand how your sofa table functions, and know your sizing, start brainstorming. Look around at different stores and see what falls into your color palette, what items you like, what items fit on your sofa table, and get inspired. This is the fun part as you can spend hours shopping in-store or online to find the best deals.

This is honestly where I have the most fun. I tend to purchase a few more things than I will actually need to give me a few options to toy with. Better to have more than what you need and return it, than to have less and be frustrated. Trust me, I know your wallet will temporarily cry, but it’s so worth it. Plus, your account will thank you once you make those returns.

Step 6: Time To Arrange It

Sofa table with two baskets filled with one pillow each and one blanket neatly nestled underneath a layered look with a vase and several decorative accents

Last is the hardest, but most rewarding part. You finally get to put together your pieces and arrange them into your final design. Try to decorate by quadrant making sure each quadrant has a little bit of your color palette in each. In case you need a theme, here are a few things to consider when arranging:

  • Ensure you balance your color palette between each quadrant
  • Keep your decorations in odd numbers (this tends to be more appealing to the eye)
  • Create visual triangles when layering your decor
  • Mix different textures throughout each quadrant

If you need additional help styling your sofa table, take a look at these design tips inspired by Grandma. They can help you make anything look better with a few simple tips & tricks.

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